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Cypher in VALORANT: How to Play

Antonio Kaurinovic

VALORANT is a game in which lots of different playstyles can thrive. Some players love aggression; they want to be the first one in team fights, initiate action, and snatch kills in quick succession. Others, however, are in it to win it. They’re patient, time their plays well, and have a knack for predicting the opposition’s moves.

cypher valorant

Image Credit: Riot Games

The second type of player is perfectly tailored for Cypher. If you’re among them and you’ve come here to learn how to get the most out of playing Cypher, you’re at the right place.

Before we start, it’s important to note that Cypher is one of the most difficult VALORANT agents to master. The learning curve isn’t steep, but it’s pretty darn high. Yet, there are distinctive differences between good and outstanding Cypher players.

Cypher Abilities

Cypher is a Sentinel, and one of just four in the game.  His arsenal is packed with all sorts of high-tech gadgets that enable him to take control of areas and provide positional info to his teammates.

Like other agents in VALORANT, Cypher has access to two basic abilities, one signature ability, and one ultimate ability.

C – Trapwire: 200 Credits, 2 Charges

  • EQUIP a trapwire. FIRE to place a destructible and covert tripwire at the targeted location, creating a line that spans between the placed location and the wall opposite. Enemy players who cross a tripwire will be tethered, revealed, and dazed after a short period if they do not destroy the device in time. This ability can be picked up to be REDEPLOYED.

Video Credit: Riot Games

First things first, let’s talk about Cypher’s Trapwire ability. It allows you to place a tripwire (a wire spanning from one hard surface to another), which activates when enemies get caught in it. At first, they are tethered, revealed, and have three seconds to find and destroy the Trapwire before the secondary effect.

If they fail, the secondary effect will daze them for an additional three seconds, which is just enough for either you or your teammates to rush and take the pick. Trapwires are basically Chamber’s Trademark traps on steroids.

The key with Trapwires is to place them at off-angles; non-standard locations and setups which will surprise your opponents. Look for lamps, trash cans, or other unconventional surfaces which you can use to deploy your Trapwires.

Having them at standard entrances, especially near choke points for contact plays, will allow your opponents to hear sound cues and destroy them.

Another good way is to lock down sites with your Cyber Cages and place unconventionally-positioned Trapwires inside of them. Long story short – to maximize the effectiveness of your Trapwires, you’ll need to think outside the box.

Q – Cyber Cage: 100 Credits, 2 Charges

  • INSTANTLY toss the cyber cage in front of Cypher. ACTIVATE to create a zone that blocks vision and plays an audio cue when enemies pass through it.

Video Credit: Riot Games

Cypher will throw the cage activator instantly after you press Q. You can then activate it to create a zone that blocks vision and gives sound cues when enemies enter. Cyber Cage can be activated from across the map as long as Cypher is looking directly at it.

What are Cyber Cages used for? It’s pretty simple – if you’re playing on defense, you should use them to cover entrances and preferably hide one or two Trapwires inside them to prevent fast rushes.

If you’re playing on attack, you can use Cyber Cage to either protect your planter or lock down entrances to the site. Either option is good, but there are situations in which one would be far better than the other (depending on the opponents’ Agent composition).

E – Spycam: Free, 1 Charge

  • EQUIP a spycam. FIRE to place the spycam at the targeted location. RE-USE this ability to take control of the camera’s view. While in control of the camera, FIRE to shoot a marking dart. This dart will reveal the location of any player struck by the dart.

Video Credit: Riot Games

Next up, Cypher’s signature ability – Spycam. As the name suggests, we’re looking at a deployable Spycam which you can connect to and monitor enemies’ positioning. Opponents can destroy the camera, but if you manage to shoot a tracking dart and hit them, their location will be revealed. Any sort of Duelist, Raze for example, works great in combination with this ability.

Remember – enemies can kill you when you’re connected to the camera. That said, beware of opponents rushing into your position if they catch you spying with your camera for too long. The best practice here is to mix things up, both in terms of your own location and the location of your Spycam.

X – Neural Theft: 6 Ultimate Points

  • INSTANTLY use on a dead enemy player in your crosshairs to reveal the location of all living enemy players.

Video Credit: Riot Games

Neural Theft can only be activated if there’s a fresh corpse nearby. When activated, Cypher will throw his hat at the corpse to briefly reveal the locations of all remaining opponents. This will be even better if you have a Sova in your team.

No need to go any deeper than this – having direct vision of your opponents even for such a brief duration is often the difference between won and lost rounds. Due to this, Cypher has a rather underestimated ultimate ability.

The “fresh corpse” requirement is a big price to pay; you won’t be able to use it in 1v1 clutch scenarios. But, for pretty much everything else, Neural Theft can be extremely useful… as long as you don’t use it in crazy clutch situations like 1v4s or post-plant 1v3s when you’re in for a retake.

Playstyle for Cypher in VALORANT

Even though some will tell you the contrary, in reality, Cypher is all about patience. If you have all of your abilities ready, your pre-round setup is typically as important as your in-round performance. The defensive part is pretty straightforward; it’s the attacking part that most new Cypher players just can’t seem to wrap their heads around.

How to Play as Cypher in VALORANT

When you’re on the defensive end, you can easily lock down an entire site long enough for your team to rotate. If your opponents push through and you’ve properly placed your Trapwires and Cyber Cages, you’ll be able to pick them one by one without them even knowing where the bullets are coming from.

But, it’s not something you’ll be able to do every round, so patience is the key here.

When you’re playing on the attacking end, there’s only so much you can do when playing as Cypher in Valorant. If your team can get the plant in and you still have your abilities ready, then you can start doing your thing. Lock down the entrances, set up your Spycam, and find a good place to hide while your gadgets do their trickery.

Here are a few tips to succeed in VALORANT with Cypher:

  • Trapwires are not only just for watching your flanks. Placing them in common routes where defenders retake sites from can catch them off guard, since there typically wouldn’t be one there. If defenders rush the site and one triggers the Trapwire, they will be an easy kill for a defender.
  • Try to place your Spycams at higher elevations, or in spots where they might be more difficult to destroy. A useful trick when you’ve been smoked by the enemy is to send your Spycam through the smoke to the opposing wall and get a read on any enemies that are approaching, and where they are coming from.
  • Unlike some other utility in the game, you can’t press Q and then choose when and where to throw your Cyber Cage – it is thrown immediately when you press Q. When players start using Cypher in VALORANT after playing other Agents, this might throw them off, but it also ensures that you can more quickly get value from the ability.

How to Counter Cypher in VALORANT

Cypher’s sole duty early on is to survive and use his gadgets to either provide information or lock down entrances to sites or other important choke points. The only way to prevent him from helping his teammates is to kill him early on in the round. Yep, Cypher can’t be the eyes of the team if he’s dead.

Easier said than done, though. Cypher’s playstyle is all about patience. He will be behind cover and won’t even show himself until it’s time to trigger his Cyber Cage. Most of the time, you’ll have to think outside the box to catch Cypher players off-guard.

As mentioned several times already, Cypher in VALORANT is not for everyone. If you’re a player who seeks action and thrilling plays, opt for Raze, Jett, or Neon; Cypher won’t be your cup of tea.

If patience is your key virtue and you don’t have problems with staying put, then perhaps you should consider learning Cypher. His gadgets will give you proper control of sites on the defensive end and will give you lots of post-plant lockdown options, which will greatly benefit your team.

To become a good Cypher player, not only do you need patience but experience too. You don’t have abilities that can directly hurt your enemies, but your gadgets allow you to play mind games with them. There are tons of Cypher spots in VALORANT that you can learn and use to your advantage.

Antonio Kaurinovic

Antonio Kaurinovic

Antonio has been an Esports journalist since 2016. He is an FPS lover and a former CS:GO player. After reaching Global Elite, he switched to VALORANT, but occasionally still opts for a game or two of CS:GO. He is here to share his FPS knowledge with anyone who is interested.

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